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Is this above board?

Discussion in 'Governors' started by FAIRYDELL, Dec 3, 2011.


    FAIRYDELL New commenter

    At the school where I am a governor, there has been no Deputy Head, since the end of the summer term. Governors were told that an advertisement would be made for a replacement in September, which has not happened.
    We have now been advised that the head intends to appoint an Assistant Head, next September, from an internal candidate, to avoid 'the hassle of external advertising.'
    This sounds a little dubious to me, the governors are not going to oppose this, I have raised my concerns, and asked for them to be minuted, with no effect. Can the head go ahead with these plans?
  2. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Ifnthe governing body approves, then yes.

    FAIRYDELL New commenter

    Thank you, Middlemarch, can I just ask, out of interest, what the difference is between an AH and a DH? I have only primary schools to have a head and deputy, so this is a new one to me and I'd like to be able to make an informed judgement, before our next meeting.
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The key difference is in the title - the deputy is, in effect, the head automatically if s/he is not in school and can carry out all actions that the head is legally authorised to carry out.
    The AHT cannot. It's in some ways a relatively subtle difference - but if the head went under a bus, you'd have to go through the official process of making the AHT up to acting deputy (or acting head) in order to ensure the school was pproerly managed in her/his absence.
    I've seen a growing tendency for schools to do this 'appoint an AHT so they can just give it to an internal candidate' and I don't like it at all. It removes the essential choice for the governors - and the school - of what might be a far better candidate. It often comes down to favouritism or friendship getting in the way of the governing body being involved in making an objective choice of who should be the backstop and key adviser to the head.
    Moreover, a teacher might make an excellent AHT (or DHT) in a different school - but stepping up in the same school can be a wholly different game, with previous relationships influencing a teacher's capacity for professional objectivity.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Remember that the HT doesn't have the power to appoint ANY staff unless the GB has formally delegated authority to the HT to do so. Maybe your GB needs to discuss formal delegation and decide what it want to delegate to HT and what it wants governor involvement in. DfE statutory guidance is that governors should retain responsibility for leadership group appointments (ie including appointments to AHT posts) and delegate to HT below that. [Statutory Staffing Guidance Chapter 2]


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